The Alabama state legislature recently joined the list of Republican-controlled states that have passed a ban on including transgender girls from sports programs and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has now signed the bill into law.
Although the legislation quite explicitly discriminates in more ways than one, the bill's supporters and governor's office say this isn't about discriminating; they say it's all about 'protecting female athletes.'
The bill states that no K-12 public school is allowed to "participate in, sponsor, or provide coaching staff for interscholastic athletic events at which athletes are allowed to participate in competition against athletes who are of a different biological gender, unless the event specifically includes both biological genders." [...]
According to data from the Human Rights Campaign, at least 117 bills have been introduced in the current legislative session that target the transgender community, the highest number the organization has recorded since it began tracking anti-LGBTQ legislation more than 15 years ago. The majority of bills would affect transgender youth, a group that researchers and medical professionals warn is already susceptible to high rates of suicide and depression.
In each state that legislation like this has been advanced or signed into law, supporters say it's about protecting 'females' or 'girls' which -- whether they realize it or not -- is an explicit statement that transgender girls do not count. It's a statement that transgender girls are not girls; that they aren't legitimate people.
Transgender women and girls are not a threat to sports programs. You don't see stories about transgender women or girls dominating sports because it's not a thing. It doesn't happen.
Conservatives do not like transgender women and this is an effort to limit the size of our population by preventing kids from figuring themselves out at younger age when the process of transitioning is physically or medically easier. At least some lawmakers would personally be more comfortable banning transgender kids from public life if it means they will never have to have a difficult conversation with their own children.